LAHORE: The Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) has registered yet another case against former Punjab chief minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi on the charges of “illegally” allowing a sugar mills to enhance its sanctioned crushing capacity, arresting ex-special secretary to CM, along with three other officials.
Parvez Elahi’s son Moonis Elahi, daughter-in-law Tehreem Elahi, Makhdoom Umer Shehryar, Munir Husain, former special secretary to chief minister Dr Khurram Shahzad, former DG Industries, Punjab, Rao Parvaiz Akhtar, Chief Inspector Boilers Muhammad Nawaz Cheema, and district officer industries, Rahim Yar Khan, Imad-ud-Din, have been nominated in the FIR as co-suspects.
The ACE has alleged that Parvez Elahi had “illegally” allowed the establishment of Rahim Yar Khan Sugar Mills in 2007. During his second tenure in 2022, Mr Elahi got Punjab Industries Control on Establishment and Enlargement Amendment Bill passed from the Punjab Assembly to let the RY Khan Sugar Mills enhance its crushing capacity to 50,000 tonnes per day after paying the prescribed fee. “This initiative helped the mill to earn billions of rupees abnormal profit,” the FIR alleged.
Soon after registering the FIR, the ACE on Wednesday arrested Dr Khurram Shahzad, Rao Parvaiz Akhtar, Nawaz Cheema; and Imad-ud-Din.
Arrests ex-secy to CM, three other officials
Sources close to Parvez Elahi say there was nothing illegal as the capacity of sugar mills was enhanced under legal cover of the amendment bill passed by the Punjab Assembly.
They say the benefit of this law was not restricted to just one sugar mills, but all others in the province, including those owned by the Sharif family and Jahangir Khan Tareen.
They say the law was amended in good faith and 24 mills out of 38 had paid the prescribed fee to the tune of some Rs4.355bn.
Several mills had made lesser payments and were still required to pay more.
“This initiative fetched huge revenue for the government, besides enhancing crushing capacities of sugar mills to meet market demand,” a source said and added, “...this was a win-win situation for both the government as ell as the sugar mills owners.
The source also said that almost all sugar mills across the country were crushing more than their sanctioned capacity.
The FIR has says that increase in the crushing capacity of the RYK Sugar Mills, which also had Moonis Elahi and Tehreem Elahi as its shareholders in 2022, was processed on fast track and every official work was completed within 13 days, including an off day. It also alleged that the amount of crushing capacity was maneuvered to raise it to 50,000 tonnes per day.
When contacted, Moonis Elahi said all the cases were being instituted because he and his father and family members had decided to stand firm with PTI chairman Imran Khan.
“Our every ordeal can go away like anything, if we hold a press conference announcing parting ways with the PTI and Imran Khan,” Mr Elahi asserted.
Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2023